I’ll preface this by saying — though I presume most of you know that I think this anyway — that whatever stock you put in David Ortiz’s PED associations, I do not think they should enter into his Hall of Fame candidacy one iota. To the extent there is stuff on him it’s generally weak stuff about being on a positive test list that was never to have seen the light of day and which, due to the procedures in place and the passage of time, Ortiz has no ability to refute in the manner any other person accused of using PEDs has the right to refute. He’s kinda boned in that regard.
And, of course, because I’m a PED apologist, for purposes of his Hall of Fame case, I really don’t even care if he was suspended for PEDs last week. I hope I don’t need to rehash my arguments about why I feel that way. If you’re a new student here, ask the person in the desk next to you. He or she can provide you with background. I’ll start you out with this little thing which makes me wonder if Ortiz hasn’t actually had more brushes with PEDs than most people say and offer that, really, I don’t care about it insofar as it affects his Hall of Fame case or his legacy.
With all of that out of the way, let’s read Ken Rosenthal’s article about Ortiz’s Hall of Fame case which, he correctly notes, will likely be complicated by that PED association:
Ortiz likely will not appear on the ballot until at least ’21, and likely not drop off it – if he falls short of the 75 percent minimum necessary for election – until at least ’31.
That’s a long time, folks.
Time, perhaps, for the voters to reconsider their views on players alleged to have used performance-enhancing drugs, as Ortiz was in 2009 when the New York Times reported that he was on a list of 104 players who had tested positive in ’03.
Rosenthal’s argument is that, perhaps, the minds of Hall of Fame voters will change some time between 2021 and 2031.
I think they may change, but I think that if Ortiz were to appear on the ballot tomorrow, the PED stuff wouldn’t matter for him a bit. Mostly because he, like Andy Pettitte, has never been considered a “cheater” by the anti-PED crew the way others with similar evidence against them have. For example, Sammy Sosa, who hit over 600 home runs and who, people’s speculation and some amount of reasonable conjecture notwithstanding, actually has no more hard PED evidence against him than Ortiz has. He’s not sniffing Cooperstown, ever, and he doesn’t even get the benefit of a baseball-based breakdown like Ortiz will get.
Rosenthal also mentions Ortiz’s status as a DH impacting his case. I actually think a lot more people will hold that against him than the PED stuff. Which shows you that, if Hall of Fame voters are irrational about one thing, they can be even more irrational about another, less reasonable thing if given the chance.